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International Open University

International Open University

International Open University


About Us

Founder and Chancellor: Dr. Bilal Philips Student body: 284,877 The Islamic Online University (IOU) is the brainchild of Dr. Bilal Philips, who envisioned an institution that would offer online, intensive, undergraduate and graduate programs completely tuition-free.


"Making authentic Islamic knowledge readily available to the world through the Internet solely for God's pleasure is a noble life-goal and a mission well worth sacrificing all of one's energies and means for" (Dr. Bilal Philips, Founder and Chancellor, Islamic Online University). The Islamic Online University (IOU) aims to grant global access to quality undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level education programs for students at virtually no cost. Its mission is to “Change the Muslim nation and the world situation through appropriate education.” The principles upon which the IOU is based are: Knowledge: Qur’an and Sunnah God said, “Indeed it is only the knowledgeable among His servants who truly fear Allah.” (35:28) The Last Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim.” Accessibility The Islamic Online University provides a golden opportunity to access quality undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level courses, wherever people may be and whenever they wish, without having to travel overseas or even leave the confines of their homes. Its goal is to enable education to anyone, from any place, at any time. The Last Prophet said, “If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads to Paradise.” Affordability The IOU demonstrates its continuous commitment to the spreading of the beneficial knowledge by progressing from an absolutely free certificate and diploma level courses to a tuition-free accredited bachelor's degrees in various fields of study and master's degree. Thereby, making the higher education easily affordable worldwide for the benefit of the individuals, their communities and humanity in general. The free tuition for all students provides equal access to an education that few could afford if they were to attend the traditional institutions of higher learning around the world. God said, “Say: Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” (39:9) Community No student will be prevented from studying at the Islamic Online University regardless of his or her religious, ethnic or social background. The IOU affirms that its doors will remain open for all, irrespective of the borders existing in the real world. It has already spawned a global community of over 180,000 students who seek Islamic knowledge from over 224 countries. God said, “Cooperate with each other in righteousness and piety... ” (5:2) Islamic Ethics It is the fundamental belief of the Islamic Online University that the Muslim teacher is essentially different from a teacher who merely happens to be a Muslim. Likewise, the Muslim student should be distinctly different from a student who so happens to be a Muslim. The IOU expects all its students, faculty, staff, administrators and volunteers to function in their respective positions and fields first and foremost as Muslims. Doing so will naturally entail maintaining the highest standards of personal integrity, honesty and responsibility. The Last Prophet said, “Indeed, Allah loves from each of you that whenever he or she does work that is done according to the best of his or her ability.” Quality and Application The Islamic Online University is committed to provide a top quality online academic experience, suitable in its scope and depth, to convey the authentic and practical Islamic knowledge, while at the same time enabling its students to face the contemporary challenges of the 21st century by offering other fields of study such as psychology, education or finance. IOU will assess and re-evaluate every aspect of its academic model on an ongoing basis and will not only encourage its students to study diligently, but also emphasize that they must strive their utmost to put the knowledge gained into practice. The Last Prophet said, “The best of you is one who learns the Qur'an and teaches it to others.” He also said, “The best of you is the one most beneficial to people.” The Last Prophet's disciple, Ibn Mas'ood, said, “We used to learn knowledge and its application together.” Imam Sufyaan ath-Thawree related that as a youth, when he first began to attend classes, his mother advised him, “If you write down 10 words and your faith hasn't improved, check yourself.”


The Islamic Online University (IOU) is the brainchild of Dr. Bilal Philips, who envisioned a higher-learning institution that offers intensive online undergraduate and graduate programs that are completely tuition-free. IOU’s journey began in 2007 with the launch of tuition-free online diploma courses in its open campus. In 2010, after just 3 years, the first tuition-free Bachelor of Arts (BA) program was also launched. The University now has seven colleges offering accredited online degree programs: College of Education, College of Islamic Economics, College of Banking & Finance, College of Psychology, College of Islamic Studies, College of Business Administration, College of Information Technology, and the College of Arabic Language and Linguistics. The latter of which offers offline courses in the Gambia, Somaliland and Guinea Bissau.In addition, IOU’s The Global Qur’an Memorization Center offers a unique opportunity for students across the globe to study the Qur’an online.


  • Banjul

    Islamic Online University (Gambia) 21 Kanifing Mosque Road, P.O. Box 2340, Kanifing South, KMC, The Gambia, , Banjul